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Krsna Book Audio Dictation - Chapter 15

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Next, Fifteenth Chapter, subject matter: "Killing of Dhenukāsura."

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In this way Śrī Kṛṣṇa, along with His elder brother Balarāma, thus passed over the childhood age known as kaumāra, and then They stepped on the age of paugaṇḍa—duration of age from the sixth year up to the tenth year. At that time, all the cowherds men conferred together, and they agreed to give these boys after the fifth year, to give them in charge of cows in the pasturing ground. When Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma was given in charge of the cows, They were traversing over the Vṛndāvana tract of land and was purifying by the footprints of Their lotus feet.

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Thus accompanied by the elderly cowherds boys and Balarāma, Kṛṣṇa, bringing forward the cows and playing on His flute, entered into the forest of Vṛndāvana, which was full of flowers and full of vegetables for feeding the cows. The forest of Vṛndāvana was as sanctified as the clear mind of a devotee, and it was full of drones and bees and flowers and fruits, sweet chirping birds, lakes full with clear water which simply by touching one becomes immediately relieved from all fatigues, sweet-flavored breeze blowing always, making the mind and body very refreshed. So Kṛṣṇa along with friends and Baladeva, after entering the forest, seeing the favorable situation desired to enjoy the atmosphere to the fullest extent.

Kṛṣṇa saw all the trees, overloaded by the fruits and fresh twigs, they came down to touch the ground as if they are welcoming Kṛṣṇa by touching His lotus feet. Kṛṣṇa was very much pleased by the behavior of the trees and the fruits and flowers and began to smile, realizing their desires, and thus began to speak with His elder brother Baladeva as follows: "My dear elder brother, You are the Supreme of all of us, and Your lotus feet is worshiped by the demigods. Now just see how these trees, full with fruits and flowers, bend down to worship Your lotus feet. It appears that because they have been put into this form of life of trees, they are trying to get out of the darkness by which they have been obliged to accept these forms of trees. Actually, these trees born in the tract of land of Vṛndāvana, they are not ordinary living entities. Rather on account of their past life a void and impersonal philosophical point of view, they are now put into this condition, a standstill life. Now they have got the opportunity of seeing You in Vṛndāvana, and they are praying for further advancement in spiritual life from Your personal association. Generally, the tree species of life are obtained by living entities in the modes of darkness. So the impersonalist and void philosophers are in such darkness, and in order to eradicate from this darkness of life, Your presence is taken fully advantage of.

“I think the drones who are buzzing all around You, they must be Your devotees from their past life and they cannot leave Your company, because nobody can be a better, affectionate master than Yourself. You are the supreme original Personality of Godhead, and the drones are just trying to spread Your glories by chanting every moment. I think some of them must be great sages, devotees of Your Lordship, and they are hiding themselves in the form of drones because they are unable to give up Your company even for a moment.

“My dear brother, You are the supreme worshipable Godhead; therefore just see the peacocks in great ecstasy are dancing before You. And so far the deers are concerned, whose behavior is just like the gopīs, and how they are welcoming You with the same affection. The cuckoos who are residing in this forest trying to receive You with great joy, because they have considered that Your appearance is auspicious at their home. I think the residents of Vṛndāvana, even though they are trees and animals, they are glorified, because all of them are so nice that they are prepared to welcome in their best capacity, as it is the practice of great soul to receive another great soul at home. So far the land is concerned, it is so pious and fortunate that it is marking on its body the footprints of Your lotus feet…


Tape number eighteen, Kṛṣṇa. Tape number eighteen, Kṛṣṇa. July 19.

"Cuckoos who are staying in this forest just welcoming You by their sweet voice, and it is quite natural for these Vṛndāvana inhabitants to receive a great personality like You. The land of Vṛndāvana is also fortunate, because on the ground You are leaving the impression of Your footprints. The herbs, creepers and plants, they also are so much fortunate that they are touching Your lotus feet. The small plants of which You are touching the twigs by your hand and nails, they are also glorious. So far the hills and the rivers are concerned, they are also glorious because You are putting on Your glance over them. Above all, the damsels of Vraja, the gopīs, they are still more glorious because You embrace them with Your strong arms, being attracted by their beauty."

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In this way, both Lord Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma began to enjoy the residents of Vṛndāvana in full satisfaction, along with the calves and cows pasturing on the adjoining ground on the bank of Yamunā. In some places both Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma were accompanied by Their friends, and they were singing, imitating the humming sound of the drones, and accompanying Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, who were garlanded with the forest flowers. While walking like this, the cowherds boys sometimes imitated the quacking sound of the swans in the lakes, or when they saw that the peacocks were dancing, they also imitated the peacock dancing before Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa also was moving His neck in accordance with the dancing in order to cause laughing of His friends.

The cows taken care by Kṛṣṇa had different names, and Kṛṣṇa at that time would call the cows by a particular name with great affection and love, and the cows, immediately after hearing Kṛṣṇa's calling, would respond by counter vibration of sound, and the cowherds boys friends of Kṛṣṇa would enjoy this incidence to their hearts' content. All of them would imitate the sound vibration made by different kinds of birds, especially the cakora, peacock, cuckoo and bhāradvāja. Sometimes when they would see other weaker animals are fleeing, being afraid of the sound of tigers and lions, the boys, along with Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, they would also imitate the animals and run away along with them. In this way, when all the boys, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma felt some fatigue, they would sit down in some particular spot and Balarāma would put His head on the lap of some boy just to take rest, and Kṛṣṇa would immediately come and begin massaging over the legs of Balarāma. Sometimes He would take a palm fan and blow it on the body of Balarāma, causing a pleasing breeze in order to relieve Him from the fatigued condition.

While Balarāma would take rest like that, other boys, they would sometimes dance, sometimes sing, sometimes begin wrestling amongst themself, sometimes jumping somewhere. And while the cowherds boys were engaged, Kṛṣṇa would immediately join them and, catching their hands, would enjoy their company by laughing and praising their activities. Kṛṣṇa, when He would feel Himself tired and fatigued, He would take sometimes shelter on the root of a big tree and lie down or sometimes take the shelter of the lap of some cowherds boyfriend and lie down on the ground, utilizing the root of the tree and the lap of the boy as His pillow. When Kṛṣṇa would lie down like that, some of the boys would immediately come and begin to massage His legs, or some would be engaged in fanning Him over the body with some fan made of leaf of the trees. But some of the cowherds boys who were intelligent than the others would begin immediately singing in very sweet voice so that Kṛṣṇa would be pleased. Very soon His fatigue condition would go away.

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In this way, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa, whose legs are taken care of by the goddess of fortune, enjoyed Himself along with the cowherds boys as one of them, expanding His internal potency by exhibiting the specific characteristics of the cowherds boy, appearing exactly like the village boys. But in spite of His remaining just like ordinary village cowherds boys, there were occasions when He proved Himself that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The third-class men put sometimes pose themselves as the Supreme Personality of Godhead and cheat innocent people. They can cheat only, but they cannot exhibit the omnipotency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

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While Kṛṣṇa was engaged in His transcendental pastimes exhibiting His internal potency along with the supermost fortunate cowherds boys, there was another chance of His exhibiting the superhuman power of Godhead when His most intimate friends, like Śrīdāmā, Subala, Stokakṛṣṇa, all of them combined together began to address Kṛṣṇa as follows with great love and affection. They said, "My dear Balarāma, You are very powerful; Your arms are very strong. My dear Kṛṣṇa, You are very expert in killing all kinds of disturbing demons. Will You kindly note that just near this place there is a big forest of the name Tālavana. This forest is full of palm trees, and all these palm trees are full with fruits. Some of them are falling down, and some of them are very ripe even in the tree. It is very nice place, but on account of a great demon, Dhenukāsura, it is very difficult to go there, and nobody can reach the trees to collect the fruits from there."

They continued to say, "My dear Kṛṣṇa, my dear Balarāma, this demon is there present in the form of an ass; and not only he is there, he is surrounded by similar other many demon friends who assumed the same shape of ass. All of them are very strong, and it is very difficult to approach this place. My dear brothers, You are the only persons who can kill such demons; otherwise no human being can go there, being afraid of being killed by the demons. And what to speak of human being, not even animals go there or even the birds are living there. They have all left that particular place. You can just appreciate the sweet flavor that is coming from that particular place. It appears that up to date, nobody has tasted the sweet fruits that are existing either on the tree or on the ground. My dear Kṛṣṇa, to tell You frankly, we are very much attracted by this sweet flavor. My dear Balarāma, if You like, let us all go there and enjoy these fruits. The flavor of the fruits are now everywhere spread. Don't You smell the flavor from here?"

In this way, when Balarāma and Kṛṣṇa were requested by Their intimate friends, They became inclined to please Their friends, and with a smiling face began to proceed towards the Tālavana, and being surrounded by all other cowherds boyfriends.

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Balarāma, immediately after entering the Tālavana, began to jerk all the trees with His arms, exhibiting the strength of the trunk of the elephants. Immediately on account of this jerking, all the ripe fruits fell down on the ground. When the fruits where falling, by hearing the sound, immediately the demon Dhenukāsura, who was staying there in the form of an ass, began to approach the place with great force and trembling the whole field, so that all the trees began to move as if there were pockets of earthquake.

The demon in the form of an ass first of all appeared before Balarāmajī and, just moving a little behind, began to kick by his hind legs on the chest of Balarāma. With the first kicking, Balarāma did not say anything, but the demon again came back and, with great anger, again began to kick on the chest of Balarāma. This time Balarāma immediately caught hold of the two legs of the ass in one hand and immediately whirling the ass all around, threw him on the top of the tree. The demon, however, while he was being whirled around by Balarāma, lost his life. The palm tree on which the dead body of the demon Dhenukāsura was thrown by Balarāma was the biggest of all; but on account of the heavy body of the demon, that big palm tree fell on other trees, and in this way several trees fell down immediately. It appeared there as if there was a great hurricane passing through the forest, and all the trees were falling down, one after another.

This exhibition of extraordinary strength by Balarāma is not astonishing, because Balarāma is the Personality of Godhead known as Ananta Śeṣanāga, who is holding all the planets on the head of His millions of hoods. The whole cosmic manifestation is maintained by Him exactly like the two threads, longside and wideside, fabricating the weaving of a cloth.

After this, all the friends and associates of the Dhenukāsura ass immediately combined together and attacked Rāma and Kṛṣṇa with great force. They were determined to retaliate and revenge the death of their friend Dhenukāsura. But Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, both of Them began to catch them, each one by the hind legs, and exactly in the same way, wheeling them, killed all of them. When all of them were exactly in the same way thrown over the palm trees, on account of the dead bodies of the asses thrown on the top of the palm trees, there was a nice panoramic scene, as if clouds of various colors assembled there. On hearing this great incidence, the demigods from the higher planets began to shower flowers on Them, began to beat their drums and offer their devotional prayers for Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma.

A few days after the killing of this Dhenukāsura, people began to come into the forest known as Tālavana to collect the fruits, as well as the animals also began to come there to feed themselves with the nice grasses grown there. They were no more afraid of the great demon known as Dhenukāsura. Thus both the brothers, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, whose activities are transcendental pastimes and to chant them or to hear them is accumulation of pious activities, just like in Vṛndāvana village along with the cowherds boy, who were all engaged in praising the uncommon activities of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma in the forest.

When Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, along with Their friends, were entering the village, They were engaged in blowing Their flutes. Their face was smeared with the dust caused by the walking of the cows. Their face was decorated with tilaka spots, as well as Kṛṣṇa's head was decorated with peacock feather, and both of Them were engaged in playing the flute. The young gopīs were very much engladdened to see Kṛṣṇa return back at home. All the gopīs in Vṛndāvana remained very much morose during daytime on account of Kṛṣṇa's absence from Vṛndāvana village and thinking of Kṛṣṇa in the forest, how He was herding the cows in that pasturing ground full with pebbles and stones. But when they saw Kṛṣṇa back at home, all their anxieties were immediately relieved…

(break) …and they began to see the face of Kṛṣṇa as if the drones were hovering over a lotus flower with honey. When Kṛṣṇa was entering Vṛndāvana village, the young gopīs were smiling with laughing face. Kṛṣṇa, while engaged in blowing the flute, enjoyed the beautiful smiling face of the gopīs.

Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma was immediately received by Their very affectionate respective mothers, Yaśodā and Rohiṇī, and according to the time demands, they began to fulfill the desires of their affectionate sons. While they were rendering service to Their transcendental sons, at the same time, they were bestowing benediction and blessings upon theirselves. The two mothers took care of their children by bathing Them and dressing Them very nicely. Kṛṣṇa was dressed in bluish color garments, and Baladeva was dressed in yellowish color garment, and They were given all sorts of ornaments and flower garlands. Thus they were relieved from all kinds of fatigues out of Their whole day's work in the pasturing ground and walking back to home, and now They looked very nice and beautiful and refreshed.

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Now They were given very palatable nice dishes to eat by Their mothers, and They very pleasantly took up all those foodstuff. And after eating, They were seated nicely, cleansed bedding, and they sat down and the mothers began to sing various kinds of Their activities. Thus their transcendental children felt asleep, and immediately They laid down on the bedding and very quickly They became fast asleep. In this way, the two brothers Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma used to enjoy the Vṛndāvana life as cowherds boy.

Sometimes Kṛṣṇa used to go with His cowherds boys friends and Balarāma, and sometimes He used to go alone also with His friends on the bank of the Yamunā and used to tend the cows in the manner described above. In this way, gradually the summer season arrived, and during summer season both the cows and the cowherds boys usually became very much thirsty and began to drink the water of Yamunā, which was already made infectious by the poisonous vomit of the great snake known as Kāliya.

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Because the water was so infected, so the cowherds boys and the cows, as soon as they drank the water, immediately the poisonous effect was visible in their body and it appeared that they are all dead and fell down on the ground, without any symptoms of living condition. Kṛṣṇa Himself, who was the life of all life, so immediately, simply by His merciful glance over them, all the cowherds boys and cows came into consciousness and they got up in living condition. But after this incidence, all the cowherds boys and cows became amazed, and they began to look one another in great astonishment. They were looking one another in great astonishment because they could understand that by drinking the water of Yamunā they became unconscious and dead, but by the merciful glance over them by Kṛṣṇa was the cause of their coming into life again. They were very much appreciating the mystic power of Kṛṣṇa, who is known as Yogeśvara, the master of all mystic yogīs.

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of Chapter Fifteen of Kṛṣṇa in the matter of "Killing of Dhenukāsura."